This mom loves to cook

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Hello! I'm Deirdre and I'm a stay at home mom to two boys. Cooking for a 6 and 4 year old- day in and day out can be the best job in the world, also the most frustrating. Trying to create not only kid friendly but husband and mom friendly meals is a challenge that I've readily accepted! My Foodie Mom blog is a record of the different recipes that I've tried in the kitchen, pictures of my ventures, and cool tricks I've picked up along the way. Cheers!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Low and Slow Oven Baked Pork Ribs

Warning, this recipe takes like 4 hours. So if you're looking for a quick dinner tonight- this isn't it. Also, when I was searching for recipes a lot of them were for the slow cooker- and since the ribs I got were bone in, I didn't want to do that. I hate bones in the slow cooker, they get all broken and shard- its just not for me. Even though this takes about 4 hours- most of that time they're in the oven and you don't touch them. So here we go.


  • bone in country style pork ribs (I did 2 packages so it was about 10 ribs)
  • salt, pepper and seasonings of choice ( I used cajun seasoning)
  • BBQ sauce of choice (I used sweet baby rays vidalia onion)
Preheat oven to 225. Spray a baking dish (I used 9x13) with cooking spray. Season your ribs with salt, pepper and whatever your seasoning of choice is. Place the ribs meat side DOWN in the baking dish, season the other side of the ribs too. 

Cover with tinfoil. Bake at 225 for 3 1/3 hours. Remove from oven, carefully flip the ribs over so they are meat side UP.

Brush on a generous amount of BBQ sauce, cover again and return to oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven again, take foil off, BBQ sauce them again and stick them under the broiler for about 5 minutes. 

There you have it! I've never really cooked ribs before, but this was a combination of like 3 different recipes that I read. And they came out phenomenal. This is going to be the way I do them from now on. Maybe next time I'll try to do some baby back ribs though too. Cheers!

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash, Zucchini and Tomato Bake

So this can be a main course, or a veggie side dish. I threw this together last Friday and it was pretty awesome. I cooked the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker. Which was like the easiest way I have ever done it. And actually throwing this dish together after that was cooked took like 15 minutes. 


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into medium thickness discs
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced medium thick
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
To cook the squash in the slow cooker- wash it thoroughly, poke 5-10 holes in with a knife. Place in slow cooker with 2 cups water. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Once the squash is done, carefully remove from slow cooker- allow to cool for a few until its easier to handle. Slice in half and scoop out all of the seeds from the middle. Scoop the rest of the squash flesh out of the skin and into a strainer to drain the access water off.

While you're preparing the squash, you should throw your zucchini slices into a pot with 1/4 cup of water, cover and steam for 3-4 minutes. Drain.

In a medium baking dish place 1/3 of the spaghetti squash on the bottom, then 1/3 zucchini, 1/3 tomato slices- some salt and pepper and italian seasoning then 1/3 of cheese. Repeat these steps so you have 3 layers of cheesy seasoned veggies. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Broil for 1-2 min for a brown crispy top.

Like I said above, this could work for a main veggie dish- or a side dish. Either way, it was really good. I've been digging doing cheesy bakes lately. And when its all veggies, you don't have to feel to guilty about it, right? Cheers!

Salami, Provolone and Banana Pepper Stromboli

I love making stromboli's and pizza's at home. So easy and you can pretty much do any combination of ingredients you want to, or have on hand. I saw this a bunch of times floating around on Pinterest and finally decided to go for it.


  • 1 ball of pizza dough (I get the pre made kind- so easy)
  • 25 slices of salami
  • 15 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of banana peppers
  • italian seasoning
  • garlic powder
Preheat oven to 425. Roll out pizza dough, arrange cheese on bottom- then salami- then banana peppers. 

Carefully roll, tucking in sides as you go. Sprinkle with garlic powder and italian seasoning. Place on pizza pan or cookie sheet.

 Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce.

We had our stromboli with some sautéed veggies. The combination of this all together was just great. Your really can't go wrong with italian meats, cheese and bread. So awesome. Side note- if you're using a pizza pan with holes to bake- put a cookie sheet the next rack down, because the salami, pepper juice peaked out and spilt into the bottom of my oven. oops. Cheers!

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls

This was actually pretty easy to prep. The best thing about slow cooker recipes is a little prep time, then dinner is all ready later on and you don't have to worry about it. This was my first time doing stuffed cabbage and Mike loved it. Even Ollie the pickiest one, ate this two nights in a row. The sweet tomato sauce really gives it a great kick too.


  • 1 head of cabbage
  • ½ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Place head of cabbage in a pot and fill it 1/4 with water and cover. Turn stove on medium/ high and steam cabbage for about 5 minutes until the leaves are easy to peel apart. Drain water and allow to cool until you're able to handle the cabbage, peel the leaves off and set aside.

To make hamburger mixture- combine beef, rice, egg, onion, garlic, salt and pepper together.

In a bowl combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, worcestershire sauce (if you want more sauce you can double this). 

Place a spoonful of beef mixture in the center of a leaf of cabbage, tuck edges in and roll. Place seam side down in the slow cooker. Repeat until all of the beef mixture is used. 

Pour sauce over the top of all the rolls in the slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours.

We served these bad boys with some loaded potato salad, and veggies. So good, and the leftovers reheated pretty well too. The rice cooked perfectly with the beef, and the sauce was sweet and tangy. I'll be sure to use this recipe the next time I make this. Cheers!

Pesto Ranch Pasta Bake with Asparagus

This was last weeks freakin yummy and simple Meatless Monday dinner. Only a few  ingredients and you're on the way to veggie dinner heaven.


  • 8 oz  (half box) pasta of your choice - I used cavatappi pasta
  • 1/3 cup ranch dressing (I used buttermilk ranch)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded parm cheese
  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus
  • olive oil 
  • minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
Boil some water, and cook pasta a little under done. Drain and set aside.

Trim the ends off of the asparagus spears and cut into thirds. Place in sauté pan with some olive oil and a little minced garlic- cover and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, until they are tender. Add in the drained pasta, diced tomatoes, ranch, pesto and the mozzarella cheese- stir well to combine. Add in salt and pepper to taste if needed. Transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with parm cheese- bake at 350 for 15 minutes. 

Yum yum yum. I'm getting seriously hungry thinking about this. It was so good in fact I'm making this again next Monday- maybe with different veggies though to mix it up. If you're looking for a quick weeknight dinner, try this one out. It will not disappoint. The leftovers were actually awesome the next day too! Cheers!

Cheesy creamy pesto ranch pasta
Pasta bake with strawberry feta salad

Monday, April 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Made these super easy chicken sandwiches last night. Oh man, packed with flavor- and add a good roll on top of it, you can't go wrong. 


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (makes about 4 sandwiches)
  • bread or rolls of your choice
  • 1/4 cup grated parm cheese
  • 3/4 caesar dressing
  • 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • romaine lettuce
Place chicken in a slow cooker with 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken and shred it with a fork.

Toss chicken with the dressing, cheese and seasonings. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve on a bun with romaine lettuce.

This is perfect to make on a summer day when you don't want to turn on the oven. Or if you want something easy that doesn't take to much work. One of the best sandwiches I've had in a while! Cheers!

Pork and Peach Rolls with Stuffing

My grandmother used to make pork chops with peaches and stuffing bake years ago, and I always thought it was such a great combination. I had given that recipe to my friend Stephanie, probably 10 years ago and recently she just reminded me of it. So I did this updated version of it, and it was pretty damn good. I think next time I might dip the pork rolls in a little bread crumbs, but besides that it was great. 


  • 1 box of stove top pork stuffing
  • 6 thin sliced pork chops
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella
  • 1 can peach slices
  • 1/4 cup peach preserves
Make the stuffing according to the directions, but replace 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 cup of peach preserves.

Pound the pork chops out into a big enough surface area to stuff and roll them up.

On each piece of pork place about 3 tablespoons of stuffing, then 1-2 slices of peach, then little mozzarella. Roll, tuck the filling inside and toothpick to hold in place. 

Arrange the remanding stuffing at the bottom of a greased baking dish. Then arrange pork rolls on top- with the remainder of the peach slices. Place a little bit of peach preserves on the top of each pork roll. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 325 for about 40 minutes. Until the pork is cooked through.

We ate our pork and stuffing with broccoli on the side. I just love anything that is sweet and savory together. And that little bit of melted mozzarella in the middle was amazing. I think my grandmother would have liked this version. Cheers!

Chicken Fried Steak with White Gravy

This was actually a pretty fun meal to make. It got a little messy- but it was totally worth it. This is not a calorie counters meal, but its good to indulge every once in a while.

  • Package of cube steak ( The one I had was 3 large pieces I cut in half to make 6 smaller pieces)
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco sweet and spicy)
  • 2 cups crisco vegetable shortening (for frying)
  • 4 cups of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
If your cube steak is in large pieces, cut them in half- and pound each smaller piece out a little bit to make them thinner.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl mix together the baking powder, baking soda, pepper and salt. Stir in buttermilk, egg, and hot pepper sauce. 

Dredge each steak first in flour, then in the batter, then in the flour again- making sure the steak is completely coated in the flour- this is what will make the great crust.

Heat the shortening in a deep cast iron skillet, over medium high heat, when it starts bubbling add in your steak 2 pieces at a time. Make sure the oil is really heated, otherwise the steak won't brown. Let cook about 3 minutes on each side until they are deep golden brown. Place on a plate with paper towels- and repeat for the rest of the steaks.

Drain the majority of the oil from the pan, leaving about 1/4 cup. Return the pan to medium/ low heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of flour. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the solids into the gravy.

Whisk in the milk a little at a time, letting it thicken. Raise heat to medium and bring gravy to a simmer. Cook until thick about 5-7 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder .

Serve gravy over steaks.

We had our chicken fried steaks with some easy mashed potatoes and broccoli on the side. If you like chicken fried steak, you should try making it at home! It really wasn't as hard as it looks- This took well under an hour. Cheers!

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

This is one of me and Mikes favorite sandwiches to make. So yummy and fresh, it reminds him of the street food in Italy. We had these sandwiches with veggie alphabet soup last week for Meatless Monday! It was actually a great combo together. And you can't beat getting all those extra veggies.


  • Bread of your choice (we used fresh scali bread)
  • fresh basil 
  • tomato slices
  • fresh mozzarella 
  • butter or margarine for grilling of the bread.
On one piece of bread place- a little mozzarella, then tomato slices, then basil ( I break it up a little), then a little more mozzarella to hold the whole thing together. Place your second piece of bread on top. Give it a little butter on the top piece and place butter side down into a hot pan- or panini press. Cook until its browned, then butter the other piece of bread, flip the sandwich and cook until browned and cheese is melted. 

If you know how to make a grilled cheese you're golden. Try this one out though its seriously such an awesome sandwich! Cheers!

Vegetable Alphabet Soup

This was my meatless Monday installment from last week. I know I've been slacking with the posts lately- that just means I have to do a bunch of posts at once. This recipe was super easy to do- and the kids adored it! The kids had theirs with grilled cheese. Me and Mike had ours with grilled caprese (fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and tomato) sandwiches. So so good. The original recipe called for adding a cup of water at the end, but I didn't. So mine ended up more like spaghetti-o's, or a pasta dish- rather than soup. Depending on how you want it- add or don't add water at the end. 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 46-ounce bottle tomato juice
  • 1 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 14.5 oz can Del Monte® Whole Green Beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can Carrots (diced)
  • 1 14.5 oz Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn
  • 1 14.5 oz can of cooked potatoes (diced)
  • 1 -2 14.5 ounce can full of water (I didn't add this and it ended up like spaghetti-o's rather than soup so add water if you want a thinner soup)
  • 2 tablespoon bullion base (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 12-ounce box alphabet pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat- cook the onions until translucent. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the pasta. Bring to a boil, then add in the alphabet pasta. Continue to boil for about 10 minutes, string frequently- until the pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This takes less than 30 minutes to make and literally made a shit ton. We ate it for days afterwards- on top of me giving some left overs to my friend Kristy. So be prepared to have a lot of left overs. Also- this was kid friendly, the alphabet pasta was a hit. Plus it is packed with veggies! Cheers!

Maxx approved

Ollie making a mess 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Creamed Spinach with Mushrooms

So this was made to go along with the Chicken Cordon Bleu I made the other night. We sort of just smothered the chicken with it. It's more or less spinach and mushrooms in a yummy alfredo sauce. It was amazing. I only used one bag of baby spinach, so it was really only enough for 2-3 people (the kids count as 1 together). So if you're going to be cooking for more than that, throw in an extra bag of spinach- the sauce should be enough for the extra spinach. 


  • 1 bag of baby spinach ( I would do 2 next time)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream 
  • 1/2 cup of parm cheese
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 the butter. Add in the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add in the garlic and cook another minute. Add in the mushrooms and sautee until softened and lightly browned. 

Add in the rest of the butter and let it melt. Then the flour, and whisk until it starts to thicken.

Slowly add in the cream a little at a time, while whisking- if it seems to thick add in a little more cream. Then reduce heat to medium/ low- and add in the cheese. Let the cheese melt and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Throw in the whole bag of spinach and cover. Let it wilt for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to incorporate the sauce.

Cook down until the spinach is completely wilted. Taste and check the seasoning - add more if needed.

LIke I said, we served this amazing creamed spinach over chicken cordon bleu. And it was fabulous. Super decadent- and the flavors went so well together. Next time I'm going to do a few more bags of spinach, because it was that good. Cheers!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

One of my favorite things to make are chicken roulades. Which is basically just chicken rolled with some sort of yummy filling in the middle. Check out my broccoli and cheddar stuffed chicken, and my jalapeño popper chicken. This chicken cordon bleu was so easy to make- and so freaking good. I highly recommend you trying this out at home- wether it be for yourself or for family- your taste buds will thank you.


  • 1 package of thin sliced chicken breast (about 5)
  • 5-7 slices of deli ham
  • 5-7 slices of swiss cheese
  • flour
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • seasoning salt
First you want to set up your breading station. One shallow bowl or dish for flour (with some seasoning salt), then a bowl for 2 eggs beaten with a little water, then a dish or bowl for breadcrumbs.

Place each individual breast in a large ziplock bag and seal it. lightly pound it out with a mallet until they are flattened into a large thin piece of chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

Lay the flat piece of seasoned chicken out and place 1 1/2 slices of ham down on top of it, then a slice of swiss cheese. 

Roll the chicken up into a ball, and try to tuck all of the filling inside. Toothpick it to keep it shut.

Dip the roll in the seasoned flour.

Then the egg.

Then the breadcrumbs. 

Be sure to make sure it is completely evenly covered with all of the ingredients. Then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Repeat with the rest of the chicken and ingredients.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. 

These were seriously so amazing. We served ours with creamed spinach and mushrooms over the chicken. The combination of these together was sublime. Give it a try and it will not disappoint. Plus every one will be really impressed, and think you spent hours and hours cooking this. Cheers!

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Creamed Spinach and Mushrooms

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bacon Mushroom Cheeseburger Skillet

This cheesy masterpiece was for dinner last night. Its like a totally amped up version of hamburger helper, but home made. I made this on the fly, knowing what ingredients in my pantry and fridge I wanted to use. It really didn't take to long either, maybe about 30- 40 minutes. Best part is, everything was cooked in the same skillet! Score on a 1 pan cleanup!


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2-1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small can (10oz) ro-tel tomatoes and chili
  • 8 oz pasta of your choice (we used cavatappi )
  • 3/4 cup velvetta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup diced pickles for topping
In a large cast iron skillet heat some olive oil over medium/high heat. Add in onions, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add in ground beef, and cook until mostly browned. Add in mushrooms and cook with beef and onions for about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain excess grease from the pan.

Add in the water, milk, tomatoes, bouillon cubes and pasta. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Let pasta boil for about 15 minutes or until its tender and cooked through.

Remove pan from heat. Stir everything and if there is a lot of extra water, drain out of pan. Add in the velvetta and crumbled bacon, stir until its melted and everything is combined. Top with shredded cheese, and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese gets all bubbly. Be careful the skillet will be extremely hot! Sprinkle diced pickles on top, and serve.

This was extremely cheesy. Which isn't a bad thing! I think I may have needed to add more pasta, because the meat to pasta ratio was a little off. Besides those minor things, this tasted exactly like a bacon cheeseburger! And there isn't anything wrong with that!